My husband and I were in Harrisburg for a job interview and wanted to be in the middle of everything, but the options are sparse in this area. Given the choice between the two very low-budget chains near the highway and the B&B in the center of town, we chose the B&B. This is our first excursion into the B&B world, so I am a bit naïve, but based on TripAdvisor reviews of other B&Bs, I understand that some are very well run while others are nothing more than rented rooms in private homes.
We arrived in the dark, around 9:00 on Friday night. The photo on the Lafayette Inn's website does not do the place justice, which I would consider a good thing. We were lucky enough to be the only guests that night, so if there were other visitors, we might have had a different experience (interacting with other guests, the noises that old houses make, etc). The property holds twin mansions and a carriage house. Each room has its own private bathroom. The house itself is gorgeous, and if I owned a mansion, I would want it to have this floor plan. The property definitely could use some updating... ceiling repairs from an old (now fixed) roof leak, wallpaper removal/replacement, new carpet, some décor changes... but behind the outdated art-deco style is a beautiful old mansion with a lot of the original elements and fixtures. And this is a B&B in a small town in rural southern Illinois, so I can't imagine that they're rolling in cash.
The proprietor, Amy, was wonderful. She prepared breakfast for us on Saturday morning and gave us recommendations for sightseeing around town (also gave me a tour of the other house while my husband was at his interview). And because the place wasn't packed for the weekend, she was very flexible about our check-out time, which we appreciated while bumming around town on a 90-degree day (don't want all my stuff baking in the car).
It's not a fancy property, it needs a little attention from a decent handy man, the floors are creaky, but the hospitality was very personal, breakfast was better than "continental," and it's worth the stay to hang out in a beautiful old mansion.